Looking after your mental wellbeing

It is normal to feel anxious or stressed in times of difficulty. Learn how to stay mentally healthy and where to get help.

Staying mentally healthy

Everyone's emotional and mental wellbeing is important. It is normal to feel anxious or stressed in times of difficulty. However, there are lots of things you can do to feel better.

The Mental Health Foundation has information about how to get through COVID-19. It includes wellbeing tips, helpful resources, and self-help tools and apps.

Support to get through COVID-19 | Mental Health Foundation (external link)

The All Right? website shares practical tips for looking after yourself and your whānau.

Getting through together | All Right? (external link)

You can also find a list of tools and information on the Ministry of Health website.

COVID-19: Mental health and wellbeing resources | Ministry of Health (external link)

Te Whare Tapa Whā

Developed by Dr Mason Durie, Te Whare Tapa Whā speaks to the 4 cornerstones of Māori health and wellbeing. When there is an imbalance or 1 of the cornerstones is missing, we may feel unwell or out of sorts. We can use this model to help look after ourselves and those in our whānau.

This model reminds us to take care of all aspects of our lives to support our wellbeing.

The 4 cornerstones are:

  • taha tinana | physical wellbeing
  • taha hinengaro | mental wellbeing
  • taha wairua | spiritual wellbeing
  • taha whānau | family wellbeing.

Te Whare Tapa Whā | Mental Health Foundation (external link)

Where to find help

Do not be afraid to seek support. There are helpline services available right now that offer support, information and help for you, your family, whānau and friends.

For support with anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can call or text 1737 to talk with a trained counsellor for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Mental Health Foundation has a full list of services available.

Helplines | Mental Health Foundation (external link)

Top ways to look after your mental wellbeing

There are a number of things we can all do to boost our mental wellbeing and that of our loved ones.

Stay connected

This is important for our wellbeing and helps to make us feel safer, less stressed and less anxious. We can support each other through the recovery, by keeping the connections and close ties to others that we forged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Acknowledge your feelings

It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, worried or scared. Allow yourself time to notice and express what you are feeling. This could be by writing thoughts and feelings down in a journal, talking to others, doing something creative or practising meditation. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling. Reach out to others.

Stick to routines where possible

Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time, eat at regular times, shower, change your clothes, see others regularly, either virtually or in person, and do your chores. Meditating and exercising can help you to relax and have a positive impact on your thoughts. Try not to increase unhealthy habits like comfort eating, drinking, smoking or vaping.

Check in on other people who might need help

Reaching out to those who may be feeling stressed or concerned can benefit both you and the person receiving support.

Limit your time online

You may find it useful to limit your time online. Check media and social media at specific times once or twice a day.

Staying safe online

During the COVID-19 pandemic many people are spending more time online. While the internet helps you connect with family members, friends and colleagues, there are also risks. Knowing how to stay safe online can help protect you and your whānau.

Netsafe has more information and resources on staying safe online, including reporting any online incidents.

Staying safe | Netsafe  (external link)

It is illegal for anyone to send or publish threatening, offensive or sensitive material and damaging rumours. You can report these to Netsafe and get free expert advice.

Report online harmful content | Netsafe (external link)

If you find any illegal material online, you can report objectionable material to the Department of Internal Affairs.

Report objectionable material | Department of Internal Affairs (external link)

If anyone in your family or whānau receives inappropriate contact online, you can make a non-emergency report to the police or call 111 for emergencies.

Report a non-emergency to the police | New Zealand Police (external link)

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